Boost Your Immunity with Food

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Our immune system is our body’s frontline defense against germs and bacteria. When a foreign invader such as a virus enters our body, our immune system responds by producing antibodies to destroy or attack the virus. When we are run down or our immune system is compromised either through excess stress, poor eating or fatigue our body isn’t able to respond efficiently.

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 Viruses are sneaky. They typically spread throughout the body by getting inside cells with weaken cellular membranes. Once inside the cell, viruses use the cell’s mechanisms to grow and multiply. The virus will replicate and expand until it bursts the cell’s membrane allowing for the replicated virus to circulate through blood or tissues. In order to best protect ourselves from becoming ill, it is important that we feed ourselves a diet filled with key vitamins and minerals which can help boost our immune system’s ability to ward off infections that lead to colds and flu.

Cell membrane integrity is essential in preventing the beginnings of a viral infection

When we focus on nutrients and healthy habits that help our bodies maintain our cellular wall integrity, we are better equipped to fight off foreign invaders such as viruses. Nutrients that help maintain cell wall integrity are vitamins A, C & E, selenium and essential fatty acids.

 

Foods that are high in vitamin A include: sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, swiss chard and kale. Foods that are high in vitamin C are: peppers - especially red and yellow, broccoli, red cabbage, papaya, kiwi and citrus fruits. Look for vitamin E in nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds and almonds.

by Denise Body Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Pilates Instructor

@deniseboydpilates

 

 

Sugar and Your Brain

It’s no surprise that sugar isn’t a health food. But, did you know that sugar has a very interesting effect on your brain. Studies have shown that not only does excess amounts sugar impair our cognitive skills but it also reduces our self-control. Consuming sugar triggers the reward center of the brain leading to cravings for more sweets. Scientists have proposed that sweet foods can produce addiction-like effects in the human brain leading to loss of self-control, overeating, and subsequent weight gain. This stimulus was once beneficial because it helped our ancestors seek out calorie-rich foods, helping with their survival during times when food was scare, but now this primitive drive contributes to a entirely new set of issues such as obesity and diabetes.

 

Our brains use more energy than any other organ in the human body and glucose is its source of fuel. Our bodies convert most of the foods we eat into sugar or glucose. ‘Good’ glucose comes from complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are polysaccharides and take longer for our bodies to digest. The other type of sugar we consume is fructose. If we eat this source of sugar in the form of fruits and vegetables, it provides us with vitamins and minerals our bodies need. When we consume fructose in the form of junk food or processed foods we receive no nutritional benefit from our food and the results are harmful to our health.

 

To keep your body and brain functioning at peak capacity watch for hidden sugars. Read food labels – if sugar or any of the other names it goes under are in the first five ingredients, consider avoiding that food. If you do crave something sweet, reach for fruit or be sure to eat your sweet food alongside a serving of nuts or a higher protein option to help slow digestion and reduce the likelihood of a glucose spike.

Want Better Posture?

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              Of course, we all do.  If I gave you 2 things that would help you improve your posture would you do them 2x day for 7 days.  You brush your teeth 2x/day, right? (well maybe only one but I floss sometimes).  Doesn’t your body deserve the same attention your teeth do?

Get on with it, right? What are the 3 exercises that will change my posture?

Ok, here you go. (I threw in a 3rd, cause, there are just so many good one)

1)      Pelvic Bowl

2)      Side Bridge

3)      Bridges

I know I said 2 but try these 3 once a day for 7 days and you will be standing taller and feeling better.

Pelvic Tilting (pelvic bowl)

Purpose:  To release the lumbar spine and renew connection to deep core muscles.

Starting position:  Lying on your back with knees bent hip width apart.

Description of Movement:

 Rock your pelvis so that you feel more into your low back then rocking so your low back lifts away from the ground.

Repetitions:  1-2 minute of ilting

What to Watch for:

ü  Be careful not to grip buttock muscles nor to push into your feet

ü  Move only in a comfortable and pain free range of movement

ü  Relax upper body, neck and shoulders.  Allow them to respond to movement in the pelvis and spine

ü  Remember to breathe

 

Side Bridge

Purpose:  To strengthen abdominal and back muscles.

Position:  From a side-lying position, bring yourself up onto the bottom elbow. With the shoulder directly over the elbow draw the arm bone back into the shoulder socket. Feel your shoulder blade draw into the spine for support. Stack your hips and bring your spine and pelvis into a neutral position.  Let the top leg rest in front of bottom leg. Movement:  Keeping hips and ribs square, lift hips into air, reach into elbow and use bottom waistline to lift.  Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times each side.

Imagery:  Reach elbow away from spine and imagine lifting hips from the strength of the lower waistline.

Breath:  Inhale and lengthen right back rib, exhale and reaffirm hips to ribs Repetitions: 4-6 x right side only

What to watch for:

 Keep shoulder from creeping into ear and from being pressed down  Align head with the rest of the spine  Check your hips and ribcage, they tend to twist and tilt

Supine Ribcage Rotation

Purpose: to mobilize the thoracic spine Position: lying on your back with knees bent, neutral pelvis Movement: With fingertips pointing to the ceiling and hand together lined up with your breastbone, inhale and slowly rotation right getting heavier on your right shoulder blade and lighter on your left. Stay heavy on the left hip. Exhale and come back to center.

Breath: breathe freely throughout the movement

Repetitions Repeat rotation both ways for 5 repetitions then only rotate to the right for 10x What to watch for: ✓ Remember to keep abdominals engaged to support neutral alignment in the ribcage and the pelvis throughout the exercise ✓ Do not allow shoulders to lift off the mat ✓ Keep hands, breastbone and eyes all focused on the same spot ✓ Keep hips steady. If your hips start to move, stop rotating your ribcage. ✓ Keep both waist lines long

Book a free consult to join a class today and improve your posture

http://www.pilatesinguelph.com/book-free-consultation

 

B Vitamins

Of all of the vitamins that work together, none cooperate more closely than the B vitamins. The B-complex vitamins play a fundamental and far-reaching role in terms of our health. The 8 B-complex vitamins include:


•B1 (thiamine)  which helps break down carbohydrates

•B2 (riboflavin) helps break down carbohydrates and fats

•B3 (niacin and niacinamide) work to maintain normal cholesterol levels

•B5 (pantothenic acid) is a potential memory booster

•Biotin helps metabolize carbohydrates and fats

•B6 (pyridoxine) may help calm moods

•B12 (cyanocobalamin and hydroxocobalamin) can promote mental sharpness

•Folic acid helps maintain healthy gene activity

Each B vitamin has a unique structure and performs specific functions in our body. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and biotin are essential for different aspects of energy production and vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid are vital in the formation of almost all neurotransmitters. In addition, each of these vitamins has many other functions in the body, although none that require all B-complex vitamins simultaneously. Eating a varied diet is key to providing our bodies with the best combination of these vitamins.


Green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and asparagus contain folic acid, B2 and B5. Whole grains including breads, cereal, or pasta provide you with a number of B vitamins including biotin, folic acid, B2, B3, B5 and B12. Seafood including salmon and tuna offer significant amounts of biotin, B2, B5, B6 and vitamin B12. In addition, poultry contains high amounts of B2, B5, B12. You can also find biotin, B2 and B5 in pork and B2 in beef. Not a meat eater? Legumes like black beans, chickpeas, lentils and soybeans are an excellent source of the B vitamins including folic acid, B3, B5 and B6.

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#thehundred

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It is a breathing exercises first and foremost.  Do it with your head down, your knees bent on the floor or lift but just doing it.   Feel your ribcage expand and deflate with each breath.  Now play with your opposition, lengthen your tailbone, reach our arms, reach your legs if they are long.  Pump your arms with vigor. 

Try it.

Whole Grains for Heart Health

Whole grains have been promoted for years as a beneficial food to help support heart health and for good reason. Some of the key nutrients found in whole grains include fiber, vitamins - particularly B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin and folate and minerals -  such as zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese.  The exact amounts of nutrients differ depending on the type of grain.

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Whole grain kernels have three parts. Bran which is made up of the outer shell of the grain and accounts for most of the fiber in whole grains. Endosperm, the middle layer of the grain, is mostly carbohydrates. The germ which is the inner layer of the grain contains most of the vitamins, minerals, protein and plant compounds. Grains can be rolled, crushed or cracked, but as long as these three parts are still present in their original proportion, the product is considered a whole grain. Refined grains have had the germ and bran removed, leaving only the endosperm. Without fiber from the outer portions of the grain, our bodies digest the refined grains quickly which can lead to a spike in our blood sugar. We also miss out on the health benefits of fiber. The high amount of fiber is what makes whole grains beneficial to our heart health because fiber helps lower our LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol.

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Studies have shown that the higher the consumption of whole grains in your diet, the better your chances of preventing heart disease. Be sure to include a variety of whole grains in your diet and when reading labels look for the stamp on the package which states that the product is 100% whole grain.

Denise Boyd Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Pilates Instructor

@denisebodypilates

 

 

Testimonial of a Triathlete

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I have been a client at Pilates in Guelph for ~15 years! I have done all types of classes: mat, reformer, tower, pre- and post-natal pilates and, more recently, individual sessions with Sarah. I am also a triathlete, training and competing in triathlon of all distances from sprint (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run) to Olympic (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run) to half-Ironman (1.9k swim, 90k bike, 21.1k run). Pilates is a vital component of my triathlon training program! In my sessions with Sarah, I focus on strength, flexibility, balance, core stability and injury prevention/management. Sarah is incredibly knowledgeable and an amazing teacher; she designs my sessions to target sport-specific body movements and proper form so that I am improving strength and stability that will directly benefit my swimming, biking and running and help me to achieve my training and competition goals. I am continually impressed by Sarah’s ability to adapt my session on the fly if I come to a session with a particular issue or injury concern. A few years ago, I had an injury that required me to take several months off my regular triathlon training program. Pilates sessions with Sarah were a key component of my recovery; she willingly and carefully designed and modified sessions that helped me return to triathlon training with increased body awareness, mobility, and strength. Overall, Pilates is an important and complementary component of my swim/bike/run training program as it helps me to be a stronger and healthier triathlete so that I can achieve my goals.

Lindsay Robinson, PhD

Associate Professor of Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Metabolism, University of Guelph

Copy of Scoliosis or Functional Scoliosis?

Scoliosis, do you have it?

A functional scolosis isn’t as bad as this child. But it shows you the changes that happen in a body if there are twists and side bends.

A functional scolosis isn’t as bad as this child. But it shows you the changes that happen in a body if there are twists and side bends.

You likely do. But did you know there are 2 types of  ‘scoliosis.’ Unless you have been diagnosed by a health care professional, you likely don’t have structural scoliosis. A good definition of structural scoliosis is found here https://www.spine-health.com/glossary/scoliosis “Scoliosis is a condition involving an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. It can be caused by congenital, developmental or degenerative problems, but most cases of scoliosis actually have no known cause called idiopathic scoliosis.”

Now most of us have a functional or nonstructural scoliosis. But what does that mean?  

“Nonstructural scoliosis involves a temporary change of spinal curvature,” as explained in this article: https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10387 A functional scoliosis usually comes from our lifestyle and habits. In my recent article on handedness, Read it here, I explained that our handedness creates a pattern of movement or movement tendencies that create imbalances, resulting in twists, high hips, low shoulders, etc. Another factor affecting functional scoliosis is repetitive movements we perform. To become more efficient in repetitive movements, our body adapts to optimize those movement patterns. For example, as a society we sit way too much and look at screens. To adapt to the positional demands of sitting and looking at screens, our bodies flatten our low spine, round from our sitz bones, push our hip bones forward, as well as reach our neck forward and round our shoulders. This postural adaptation makes sitting at a desk in front of a computer easier, but it doesn’t make it easier to get up from the desk and walk around, or shovel the snow outside, or play with your kids or bring in the groceries…in other words, when our bodies adapt to sitting and looking at screens, all other forms of movement are hindered by that postural adaptation. 

Furthermore, the body does the same thing with repetitive motions. For instance, if I always lead with my right arm, my body adapts and twists my right ribcage forward. Because my ribcage is twisted left, I get heavier on my left leg to create stability. This causes my right hip to lift, affecting all the balance and strength muscles on my right hip.  

Why does this matter?

Well, these twists and side bends affect the loads placed on the body, affecting the transfer of force through the body, effectively stopping it at places that are not aligned. When the transfer of forces is stopped, the structure takes the force and this accelerates the wear and tear on the connective tissues, the muscles, and the bones.  

This is why balance movement is so important.  

This is also why having a comprehensively trained Pilates teacher is important so you have support to help realign your body to move better. Comprehensively trained Pilates instructors are educated to identify functional scoliosis or handedness patterns and have the knowledge to help you correct them. 

At Pilates in Guelph, we believe in the importance of helping you find balance in your body to achieve optimum health and happiness.

Try our private sessions at a special rate: $150 for 3 sessions Click here to sign up

Are you a Pilates instructor or Personal Trainer who wants to learn more about scoliosis, handedness and functional scoliosis? Join me this month for Body Harmonics Scoliosis and Handedness continuing education course in Guelph.  https://www.bodyharmonics.com/training_programs/handedness-and-scoliosis/

 

Leafy Greens and Vitamin K

Want to give your body a boost?

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/candied-walnut-pear-leafy-green-salad

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/candied-walnut-pear-leafy-green-salad

One of the best ways to ensure that our hearts remain healthy and functioning at peak performance is making sure our diets provide the nutrients we need. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens are well-known sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and a food choice we should include daily.

https://food52.com/blog/11110-how-to-make-a-better-leafy-salad-without-a-recipe

https://food52.com/blog/11110-how-to-make-a-better-leafy-salad-without-a-recipe

In addition to the nutrients leafy greens provide, they are also high in dietary nitrates. Dietary nitrates have been shown to reduce blood pressure by decreasing arterial stiffness and improving the function of cells lining the blood vessels. Adding to the benefits of dietary nitrates, leafy greens are also a great source of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps protect our arteries and assist with blood clotting. Our body uses two types of vitamin K – K1 and K2. There are very few individuals who are deficient in vitamin K1, however vitamin K2 deficiency appears to be more common. Our bodies are able to convert vitamin K1 to K2, but that conversion requires that we readily absorb vitamin K1 through proper digestion and are able to provide the proper environment within our digestive tract for the conversion to occur.

Recent studies have suggested that individuals with calcification of the arteries may be deficient in vitamin K2 and supplementing K2 in their diets may reverse the effects of arterial calcification. Any supplementation should be done through doctor supervision, however through our diets, we can work to providing our bodies with the nutrients needed. A spinach salad topped with walnuts or adding a handful of kale and a tablespoon of hemp hearts to your morning smoothie are great ways to combine foods that will assist in nutrient absorption and help give your body a nutritional advantage.

Check out these greens rich in Vitamin K

Denise Boyd RHN and Pilates Instructor @deniseboydpilates

 

 

Scoliosis or Functional Scoliosis?

Scoliosis, do you have it?

A functional scolosis isn’t as bad as this child. But it shows you the changes that happen in a body if there are twists and side bends.

A functional scolosis isn’t as bad as this child. But it shows you the changes that happen in a body if there are twists and side bends.

You likely do. But did you know there are 2 types of  ‘scoliosis.’ Unless you have been diagnosed by a health care professional, you likely don’t have structural scoliosis. A good definition of structural scoliosis is found here https://www.spine-health.com/glossary/scoliosis “Scoliosis is a condition involving an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. It can be caused by congenital, developmental or degenerative problems, but most cases of scoliosis actually have no known cause called idiopathic scoliosis.”

Now most of us have a functional or nonstructural scoliosis. But what does that mean?  

“Nonstructural scoliosis involves a temporary change of spinal curvature,” as explained in this article: https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10387 A functional scoliosis usually comes from our lifestyle and habits. In my recent article on handedness, Read it here, I explained that our handedness creates a pattern of movement or movement tendencies that create imbalances, resulting in twists, high hips, low shoulders, etc. Another factor affecting functional scoliosis is repetitive movements we perform. To become more efficient in repetitive movements, our body adapts to optimize those movement patterns. For example, as a society we sit way too much and look at screens. To adapt to the positional demands of sitting and looking at screens, our bodies flatten our low spine, round from our sitz bones, push our hip bones forward, as well as reach our neck forward and round our shoulders. This postural adaptation makes sitting at a desk in front of a computer easier, but it doesn’t make it easier to get up from the desk and walk around, or shovel the snow outside, or play with your kids or bring in the groceries…in other words, when our bodies adapt to sitting and looking at screens, all other forms of movement are hindered by that postural adaptation. 

Furthermore, the body does the same thing with repetitive motions. For instance, if I always lead with my right arm, my body adapts and twists my right ribcage forward. Because my ribcage is twisted left, I get heavier on my left leg to create stability. This causes my right hip to lift, affecting all the balance and strength muscles on my right hip.  

Why does this matter?

Well, these twists and side bends affect the loads placed on the body, affecting the transfer of force through the body, effectively stopping it at places that are not aligned. When the transfer of forces is stopped, the structure takes the force and this accelerates the wear and tear on the connective tissues, the muscles, and the bones.  

This is why balance movement is so important.  

This is also why having a comprehensively trained Pilates teacher is important so you have support to help realign your body to move better. Comprehensively trained Pilates instructors are educated to identify functional scoliosis or handedness patterns and have the knowledge to help you correct them. 

At Pilates in Guelph, we believe in the importance of helping you find balance in your body to achieve optimum health and happiness.

Try our private sessions at a special rate: $150 for 3 sessions Click here to sign up

Are you a Pilates instructor or Personal Trainer who wants to learn more about scoliosis, handedness and functional scoliosis? Join me this month for Body Harmonics Scoliosis and Handedness continuing education course in Guelph.  https://www.bodyharmonics.com/training_programs/handedness-and-scoliosis/

 

Client Feedback

I would like to request that the 8 a.m. Saturday morning Yoga/Pilates class with Mary be kept on.

This class has been amazing for me. 

I have been coming to Pilates in Guelph since December of 2017, so just over a year. I started coming here because of injuries. Lately I have not felt I am getting stronger or healing as fast as I would like. But this class showed me that I am. Before doing Pilates, I did yoga off and on for years, but it was not helping with my injuries and I found it very hard to do. But Mary's class went right back to the basics of each move. By using the wall to properly get into positions, for the first time I could hold positions and really start to feel my legs getting stronger.

Not only is this because of Mary's great teaching style,

I realized it is because of the work in the past year I have put into Pilates. I needed this class, which has slightly different moves than the regular Pilates classes, to show me that I am improving and getting stronger. I now feel energized more while taking my regular weekday Pilate classes .

I understand now that they are working!

Also: I regularly attend classes taught by Denise, Angela and Paula. They are all great instructors. I like taking a variety of classes with different instructors as they all have a different perspective in the way they teach, and I always learn something from them. They are always positive, approachable, and all have great teaching styles.

Thanks for listening.

If you are interesting in joining Mary on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. let us know info@pilatesinguelph.com

Join Mary on Sundays at 11 a.m. for her Yoga/Pilates class

Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberry.

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we’re going to touch on a food that receives a lot of attention this time of year… chocolate. Dark chocolate is often promoted as super food thanks to the high amounts of antioxidants it contains. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants helps our bodies offset the negative impacts of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen cells that circulate in our bodies.  These unstable cells attach themselves to healthy cells. The damaging effects of free radicals are believed to lead to a number of diseases including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. A diet consisting of variety of antioxidants helps our bodies stabilize free radicals and offset their potentially harmful effects.

The antioxidant that receives so much positive attention in dark chocolate is a plant based antioxidant known as flavonoid. Several studies have shown that an increased intake of dark chocolate –  1-2 ounces twice per week have been shown to decrease heart disease and lower blood pressure. Eating dark chocolate has also been shown to increase your HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol. Cocoa butter that is naturally present in dark chocolate contains oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat that is believed to help promote heart health.

Even if you aren’t a dark chocolate fan there are other options. Flavonoids are also present in high amounts in other fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach and herbal teas. But if you do love dark chocolate, this a perfect reason to treat yourself to one of the season’s loveliest indulgences – chocolate dipped strawberries.

By Denise Boyd Pilates Instructor and Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Denise works at Pilates in Guelph Monday nights and Wednesday nights. Book a private session with her with our February Private Session Promotion 3 Privates for $150 + hst

Does Your Handedness Affect Your Fitness?

Did you know your hand dominance affects how you move?

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It does. Your handedness affects your reactions, which affect your posture pattern, which creates a cascade of muscle imbalances up and down your body. This dominant pattern goes further than just your structure, as handedness comes from the brain. As Viatcheslaw Walssoff, PhD writes: “Handedness reflects the structure of our brain, more specifically its asymmetry.”

This asymmetry affects how we move, leading to non-optimal movement patterns that can progress into weaknesses and repetitive injuries. So what does this mean for you? 

It means that you need to do specific adjustments to help your body find its balance. If you are actively training, you need to train specifically for your body.

If we are right handed, we tend to be rotated to the left slightly, with our right shoulder lower than the left and slightly rounded forward. This twisting will affect the strength of the muscles on the front and back of the torso. And affect your hips. When we are right handed, we tend to put more weight into our left leg.

Interested in adjusting these natural patterns in your body? In improving your performance or avoiding that nagging repetitive injury? In February, we have a Private and Duet special at Pilates in Guelph.  See more information here

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Are you a trainer and want to develop the skills to see handedness patterns in your clients? Join me for Body Harmonics Handedness and Scoliosis workshop February 23rd 1:30- 7:30.  More more information here

Low Back Pain getting you down.

Have you had Low Back Pain?

              Low back pain is a common complaint.  Almost everyone has had low back pain in their life time and we generally accept it as inevitable, but why?  Why accept it when there are simple and easy things you could do on a daily basis that can eliminate back pain. 

Let us start with the anatomy of the lower back.  The low back sits on the pelvis which houses our center of gravity (The fused sacrum vertebrae S2) .

It also is the spot where our body goes from 2 limbs, our legs, to one, our torso.  Our body needs to get clever on how it does this.  In the design of our structure, our joints are meant to move.  This jiggle helps our body deal with the impact of movement or force.  The jiggle or joint play gives us our ability to be dynamic and responsive.  When we don’t have that play, we become rigid.  Rigidity causes the forces that should travel through our skeleton to get stuck.  This force, often gets stuck, in our low backs.  

Here are a few moves you can do to give you back your joint play and relieve some of your back pain. Stay tune for more tips each week and Join us for a Whole Body workshop: Relieve Your Back Pain  Saturday February 23rd 11:30pm $45 + hst Sign up here

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Hip Circles

Purpose:  To loosen the thighbone in the hip socket

Starting Position: Lying on your back with core support.  Knees are bent and pelvis is in a neutral position

Movement: Lying on your back with your right knee bent and a theraband around your knee or just your hand, left leg bent resting on the ground, engage your core support and lift your right leg. Begin to circle your right leg sinking the thighbone with each circle.  Focus on smoothing out the circle and moving towards the midline more that away from the midline.

Repeat on other side.  

What to watch for:

ü  Keep neck and shoulders soft and easy

ü  Keep pelvis still as you move the leg

 

Supine Ribcage Rotation

 

Purpose:  to mobilize the thoracic spine Position:  lying on your back with knees bent, neutral pelvis

Movement:   With fingertips pointing to the ceiling and hand together lined up with your breastbone, inhale and slowly rotation right getting heavier on your right shoulder blade and lighter on your left. Stay heavy on the left hip.  Exhale and come back to center.  

Breath:  breathe freely throughout the movement Repetitions:  Repetitions Repeat rotation both ways for 5 repetitions then only rotate to the right for 10x

What to watch for:  

✓ Remember to keep abdominals engaged to support neutral alignment in the ribcage and the pelvis throughout the exercise

✓ Do not allow shoulders to lift off the mat

✓ Keep hands, breastbone and eyes all focused on the same spot

✓ Keep hips steady. If your hips start to move, stop rotating  your ribcage.

✓ Keep both waist lines long

 

Try out thees simple exercises to get the play back into your joints.  Want more? Join us for a Whole Body workshop: Back Pain  Saturday February 23rd 11:30pm $45 + hst Sign up here

Heart Health By Denise Boyd RHN and Pilates Instructor

February is Heart Health month and we are going to explore the best ways our diet can support our cardiovascular system. First up – fats. Two of the types of fats that receive a lot of attention are Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s. These are polyunsaturated fats and both are essential to our bodies. 

Omega-3’s are anti-inflammatory. They may help decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, decrease heart failure risk and reduce irregular heartbeats. Omega-3 fats are less common in modern day diets when compared to Omega-6 fats. The best sources of Omega-3’s are cold water fish such as mackerel, salmon, trout and sardines. Vegetarian sources of Omega-3’s are walnuts, flax and chia seeds, soya beans and hemp hearts.

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Although Omega-6’s are essential, a high intake of these fats can promote inflammation. Chronic inflammation is believed to be the root cause of many degenerative diseases. The ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats in our diet is 1:1. For most of us, the ratio is closer to 15:1.

 

Balancing the ratio of Omega-6’s to Omega-3’s is key for heart health. Omega-6 fatty acids are present in foods that are also a source of Omega-3 fatty acids so they are easy to find in our diets. The problem is Omega-6’s are present in high amounts in many other foods which is why we need to limit the consumption of this type of fat. One of the most common sources of Omega-6’s is processed foods. Be sure to read labels and try to eliminate foods that contain hydrogenated fats, one of the largest sources of Omega-6 fatty acids

By Denise Boyd Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Pilates Instructor

Follow her @Deniseboydpilates

Testimonial of Johnny Augustine

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Testimonial of Johnny Augustine, Winnipeg Blue Bombers #25 Running Back and Pilates Teacher

Three years ago, in the fall of 2015, i walked into the studio of Pilates in Guelph. My life forever changed, as did I, as an athlete and most importantly as a person. The work that Pilates in Guelph and my teacher Caitlin have done with me has improved my game as a professional football player in the CFL. i am able to move more freely, be more agile, and move in positions that i was not able to do before. Still being the same weight as i am and a bigger build, Caitlin and her staff worked with me to improve all my weak areas. i am injury-free and since taking Pilates i have had only one injury compared to the multiple that i sustained before doing Pilates. However i think that the most important aspect of the teaching that Pilates in Guelph provided was being patient with me. As much as i wanted to go on to the next exercise it was about correcting and fixing the task at hand. It didn't matter how many lessons I've done or how far i advanced. It was always about being patient and correcting any little details, and that's why i believe Pilates in Guelph is amazing. In addition, Pilates has brought more relaxation and peace of mind to my everyday life. Every time i step out of the studio i feel refreshed and rejoice. Pilates goes beyond the exercises and just your normal training. I truly love Pilates, Pilates in Guelph, and Caitlin for bringing this wonderful work of art into my life. It will change your body and mind altogether. i love Pilates so much that last year i became a certified Pilates instructor and my goal is to preach and teach others of this great work of art. Thank you Pilates in Guelph and Caitlin!

Work with Johnny https://www.johnnyaugustinefitness.com/

https://www.cfl.ca/players/johnny-augustine/163309/


Eating for Happiness – Part 2

Eating for Happiness – part 2

As mentioned in the last post, serotonin is often referred to as the ‘happiness’ hormone. Serotonin production relies on a healthy digestive system but it also requires the amino acid, tryptophan. In addition to helping create serotonin, tryptophan is also associated with playing a key role in brain function and contributing to healthy sleep. Our bodies cannot produce tryptophan, therefore, we need to find sources of this amino acid in our diets.

Some of the best sources of tryptophan include: salmon, eggs, turkey, chicken, spinach, nuts and seeds. In order for tryptophan to move from the digestive system to the brain, this amino acid needs to be digested with carbohydrates to help transport it through the blood stream to the brain. Unrefined carbohydrates are the sources of fuel for our bodies because they digest slowly giving your body time to absorb nutrients from the digestive system into the blood stream.

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The relationship between nutrients your body needs and absorbability of these nutrients is why food combining is key. A salad with mixed greens including spinach topped with chicken or whole grain bread topped with nut butter are great choices to help create a dietary environment to provide your body with the nutrients it’s searching for. Keeping blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day is also necessary for providing your body and brain with the energy it needs to keep you functioning at your peak.

 

Join Denise February 2nd for Winter Wellness – Boost your Immune System

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Why I Became a Pilates Instructor? By Dionne Galan

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As a yoga instructor, I recently began to research functional anatomy to answer the questions: how does the body move and why? Why does this muscle hurt there? Why does this muscle activate in this way with this particular movement?

I found a course covering functional movement and anatomy, offered by Pilates in Guelph, Body Harmonics’ Anatomy in Motion. I started attending beginner mat Pilates classes at Pilates in Guelph, which led me to a deeper understanding of my own body, as well as my students’ and clients’ issues and injuries. Thus began my amazing journey of studying and practicing Pilates. I decided to take the Body Harmonics Level 1 Matwork Training, in which I learned about the inner core unit, functional movement and biomechanics, proper alignment for all types of bodies, all of which helped me become a better teacher. I believe Pilates is extremely important, as a discipline and set of exercises, not only for able bodies, but also to help those who need to learn how to move again. Pilates is an essential form of physical activity for a sedentary population, as well as for anyone who has suffered injuries. It’s never too late to start moving! ~ Dionne Galan, Yoga and Pilates Instructor

  Level 1 Pilates training begins Friday February 8th for more information contact caitlin@pilatesinguelph.com

Community Oriented - We give back

Some of the 2018 Pilates in Guelph Donations to community organizations

Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington “Around the World Gala”

Grandmothers and Friends for Africa Scrabble Party Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph “The Big Little Run”

Foundation For Prader-Willi Research Canada * 16 Mat Classes *

Heart & Stroke Annual McNeil Curling for Heart Auction

Canadian Caner Society “Glam Girls Night Out “

Sir Issac Brock Public School” Family Fun Night”

Guelph Chamber of Commerce 42nd Annual Gold Tournament

Volunteer Centre of Guelph – Wellington _ PIN The people and Information Network  “ Retire with Confidence “

Canadian Mental Health association Waterloo Wellington “ United by Music” for Mental Health

University of Guelph Advance Agricultural Leadership Program Dream Auction

University of Guelph 2018 Relay for Life

Big Brothers Big Sisters 12 Days of Giving Online Auction

Guelph Youth Music Center Silent Auction

Raised $200 for the Guelph Wellington Children Foundation